"The Grace of Browsing" - Walking Among the Book Shelves

In these days of Ebooks and audiobooks, hard back/paper back books have lost their appeal and many...too many...traditional bookstores are closing.

I love bookstores... walking throughout the store, I stop at the tables marked "Bargain", "Just Released", "Best Sellers", "Books made into Movies".   I walk from section to section visiting the shelves of poetry, and inspiration, books on the latest management trend, and novels.  Sometimes I will buy a book;  but I don't feel guilty if I depart without a purchase.  I have other reasons for visiting book stores:

*  exploration and discovery
*  restoration
*  intellectual stimulation
*  occasional conversation with other book lovers

When my children were little, visiting a bookstore was a favorite outing.  It still is one of my favorite past times.  Once, I almost missed my plane because I lost track of time browsing through books at one of the terminal book stores.

Both chain stores (e.g., Borders) and small independent bookstores are closing their doors.  These closures are a loss 

* financial - lost jobs, lost taxes, lost spill over traffic to nearby businesses
* recreational - bookstores are great places to spend leisure time, to meet friends
* Sense of connectedness with authors - I am referring to book signings. Virtual tours lack the intimacy of being in the presence, conversing with, shaking hands and watching the special message as it is being written especially for you inside the book (the author's autograph)

What do you think that we are losing, if anything, with closure of bookstores?

Here is a thoughtful and provocative article on this subject by another booklover.  

The Grace of Browsing

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